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US Open under fire as third female star slams injury risks due to different balls

A third player has slammed the US Open for providing female players with different, lighter tennis balls compared to the men. After Paula Badosa and world No 1 Iga Swiatek put pressure on the tournament to give them the same tennis balls, doubles star Nicole Melichar-Martinez has joined their calls and shared the injury risks of using lighter balls.

The US Open has come under fire once again for providing female players with lighter tennis balls during the Grand Slam tournament and its lead-up events in the likes of Canada and Cincinnati. Doubles world No 24 Melichar-Martinez is the latest to criticise the tournament for the decision after Swiatek and Badosa led calls to use the same tennis balls for both genders.

It comes after world No 4 Badosa shared an update as she posted a photo of the balls given to the men and women side-by-side, showing that those used by female players were specifically meant to be used for clay and indoor tennis while the men’s are designed for hard courts – the US Open surface. “It also messes with mixed doubles!!” the recent Cincinnati finalist pointed out.

“Why do either men or women have to adapt for a different ball during the tournament? Not good towards possible injuries….” After raising the injury fears associated with switching between using different balls in mixed doubles and regular singles and doubles competition, the American also echoed Swiatek and Badosa’s recent sentiment.

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